It has been 16 years of absolute success at the Golden United Football Club’s heritage tournament, says club president Phoobhalen Naidoo.
Despite the absence of the cup in 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it returned in 2021 in phenomenal fashion after securing funds from the National Lotteries Board.
This year, it was no different – hard work and talent were matched by the organisers’ zeal and the young boys and girls’ participation at the weekend.
Usually the tournament is hosted in Rocklands, Mitchell’s Plain, however, this year, an overall of 36 teams participated at a packed field in Chukker Road.
The top honours went to FN Rangers under-12 boys and Strandfontein’s under-16 girls.
Strandfontein girls made light work of the hosts, Golden United, following their 6-0 win in the final of the girls section.
Strandfontein player, Jehaan Davids from Al Azhar Primary School, won a bursary to study at Portlands High School next year.
Portland High’s Romano Petersen also acknowledged another recipient of the bursary, Miyaaz Hart, for his outstanding performance for Juventus throughout the tournament.
In the boys’ under-12 section, FN Rangers pulled the crowd to their advantage when they bounced back from a 1-0 trail to win the match 2-1 against defending champions, Ubuntu Football Academy.
The boys played their hearts out, but in the end, Lady Luck was in the favour of the young ballers from Maitland.
In the semi-finals of the under-12 section, FN Rangers beat FC Kapstadt 3-2, while Ubuntu beat Young Bafana 2-1.
The referee of the tournament and girls coach of the tournament went to Strandfontein. The top goal scorer came from Young Bafana. Goalkeepers of the tournament came from Golden United girls and FN Rangers boys. Player of the tournament came from Strandfontein girls and Ubuntu Football Academy. Golden Cup winners; Future Ikasi, Plate winners; Hellenic, Shield winners; Liverpool Portland, Shield winners; Dangerous Heroes girls.
Golden United club president, Phoobhalen Naidoo, said over the past 16 years the tournament has grown from 24 to 36 teams participating from all over the Mother City.
Naidoo acknowledged the support shown by the Mitchell’s Plain Local Football Association, their ward councillor Ashley Potts, the organising team at the club, as well as the variety of active stakeholders.
“We are here to serve children. We are here to develop the next generation of role models,” said Naidoo.
An emotional FN Rangers coach, Nazir Carr, said the same team they beat 2-1 in the final is the same team they lost 6-0 to in a friendly earlier this year.
“I’m out of words with this team’s performance this weekend. We came into the final with a completely different mentality. I’m so proud of the boys and the courage they’ve shown today,” said Carr.